Scrivener <=> Pages with comments

I’m batting a Pages document back and forth with someone, making text amendments and adding comments (the yellow sticky-esque ones, not tracking changes, or footnotes). In an ideal world I’d like to work in Scrivener, not Pages. This particular document is the tip of a fairly large Scriv iceberg and I’d like to keep all my project in one place. I don’t mind importing the Pages document into Scriv, working on it, and then exporting/cutting and pasting it back into Pages - a few steps to get stuff in and out of Scriv is fine.

However - how do I make keep comments made in Pages retain their link to specific text and become Scriv comments? The best I’ve achieved so far is via Pages’ .doc exporter, importing the .doc into Scriv, and that pulled them out as inline text at the end of the document. I know Pages’ Word exporter is keeping comments and text linked as they show up fine in NeoOffice. Is there a way of keeping Pages notes associated with the text they’re anchored to when I get the text into Scriv - ie so they show up as Scriv comments?

(Keith… I know from a bit of searching the forum that Pages export is your bete noir. ‘No, sorry, blame Apple’ is a perfectly fine answer as far as I’m concerned. I just want to make sure I’m not missing a trick.)

Possibly the solution is to buy your collaborator a copy of Scrivener.
Work back and forth in it, and save Pages for the final formatting and polishing.
I do that with my writing partner, and we’ve not had problems.
We always save our backups as ZIP files, which Scriv date & time stamps
Then we save to Dropbox in a project-named file.
You have to make sure that Dropbox has fully saved the file.
Could also use Box as a file server, or MobileMe.
We have no problems with Pages as a late-stage word processor
But it’s not ideal for organizing and drafting in early work.

Have you tried saving the file out of NeoOffice as an RTF? The trick is, Scrivener can read comments in RTF but not .doc (it uses Apple’s free translation tools for the .doc/x stuff; actually reverse engineering Microsoft’s document format is non-trivial in the extreme). So if you can get an RTF with comments out of NeoOffice, that would work for one direction. Unfortunately, last I checked, the whole line has some bugs with RTF comments, particularly in reading them in (which you’ll need to convert exported stuff from Scrivener to a format Pages can use—assuming you need comments in that direction). The only word processors I know of on the Mac that do both directions are Nisus Writer and Microsoft Word. I haven’t checked LibreOffice, though. This is another fork of, and has better support for some things out of the box.

Of course, Druid’s suggestion of just getting your partner on Scrivener would solve a lot of problems, and you’ll have a greater breadth of tools available for collaboration, rather than relying on just those that survive translation processes within a single document.

I’m trying to persuade him to buy a copy; finances don’t permit presents at the moment. He’s a producer not a writer tho so he doesn’t have the necessary levels of fetishising writing tools to make it an easy sell. I’ve already sold him on Dropbox tho.

The NeoOffice rtf thing doesn’t work, it was one of my experiments, and nice tho Nisus is, I only have Express.

Yes, unfortunately the only real way of doing this is to save as .doc or .docx from Pages and then use Word to save as RTF, then import the RTF into Scrivener - not ideal if you don’t have Word, though. And unfortunately OpenOffice and NeoOffice don’t seem to support comments in RTF.

All the best,

That’s true for the outgoing. and derivatives cannot take a Scrivener RTF and get it to Pages for you—however they do in my testing anyway, serve as a route for getting things out of the .doc/x universe and into Scrivener (and by implication, out of Pages). I’ve tested with LibreOffice, mind, but you can open a .doc file generated out of Pages, with comments. LibreOffice opens .doc files with comments just fine, and then amusingly it saves RTF comments just fine, too. I can go from Pages to Scrivener with LibreOffice in the middle and get the comments in. But if I try to open that RTF I just saved, in LibreOffice, it can’t read the comments it just wrote out. :slight_smile:

So if you need to primarily get notes out of files people have sent to you, OOo & family can still serve as a free tool for doing so. Forget about the other direction though, with comments anyway, until they get their bugs fixed. I’m assuming this is a bug since it can write \annotations just fine.

And by the way that does also mean your ODT and other works with comments in OOo can be brought into Scrivener with comments, too, since it can save them to RTF.